Messages of condolence

on the death of former President Corazon Aquino


Posted August 2, 2009



■    Holy Mass fpr President Aquino at the House of Representaives


■    Lea Salonga sings Bayan Ko at the last mass for Cory Aquino at the Manila Cathedral


■    The final journey home of Cory Aquino



Sept. 6, 2005 - President Corazon Aquino participated in the march for truth in the Hello Garci scandal. The march started from the St. Peter's church at Commonwealth and was to end at the Batasan where a program was to be held. The march did not reach Batasan because a phalanx of police and PNP units, backed up by firetrucks,  blocked the march when the protesters turned right at Batasan Road. President Aquino called on GMA to resign.


In today's (Aug. 4, 2009) Inquirer: In September 2006, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that then Tarlac Rep. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III had complained that his mother’s five-man security detail in 1992 had dwindled to one soldier, “and even this last, single soldier was taken away.”





NDFP message of condolence on the death of former President Corazon Aquino
Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
August 2, 2009

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel and its Consultants convey their heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives and friends of former President Corazon Aquino on her passing away yesterday.

Corazon Aquino was an outstanding and inspiring figure in the anti-fascist alliance against the Marcos dictatorship, especially after the assassination of her husband, Benigno Aquino. She was openly critical of the longrunning support of the US for the Marcos dictatorship in exchange for the aggrandizement of US economic interests and the continuance of the US military bases.

Upon assuming the presidency after the fall of the dictator Marcos, she fulfilled her commitment to release all political prisoners, including Prof. Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP.

She engaged the NDFP in peace negotiations, but the military and police caused the termination of the ceasefire agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP when they indiscriminately fired on the peasants and their urban supporters marching for land reform on January 22, 1987.

The 1987 constitution, which was framed under the Aquino administration, contains provisions which may be used to counter land reform. But it also carries provisions which uphold human rights and restrain the proclamation of martial law, retain national restrictions on foreign investments and prohibit foreign military bases, foreign troops and nuclear weapons on Philippine soil.

Beset by coup attempts and threats by pro-Marcos and pro-Enrile factions of the military and police, then President Corazon Aquino sent Congressman Jose V. Yap to NDFP officials in The Netherlands in September 1990 to explore the holding of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. These efforts were, however, derailed by Generals Fidel Ramos and Renato de Villa.

After she finished her term as president, Corazon Aquino strongly opposed the grossly anti-democratic policies and actions of her successors, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In this regard, she was willing to join up with the patriotic and progressive forces of the people in mass protest actions.

Though suffering from failing health, she condemned the anti-democratic machinations of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to cling to power beyond her term ending in June 2010. From her sickbed, she sent a powerful message of support to thousands of demonstrators protesting Mrs. Arroyo's Con-Ass scheme. She called it “a shameful abuse of power!”.

The NDFP Negotiating Panel and its Consultants express their solidarity with the family, relatives and friends of former President Corazon Aquino in their time of mourning and grief and wish them much strength and courage.

(Sgd.) Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.)Fidel V. Agcaoili
Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Negotisting Panel

(Sgd.) Ms. Julieta de Lima – Sison
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.) Coni K. Ledesma
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.) Asterio B. Palima
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.) Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant

(Sgd.) Atty. Romeo T. Capulong
Senior Legal Adviser

(Sgd.) Vicente Ladlad
Political Consultant

(Sgd.) Dan Borjal

(Sgd.) Randall Echanis

(Sgd.) Rafael Baylosis

(Sgd.) Elizabeth Principe



Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change joins the entire nation in mourning the death of Former President Corazon Aquino.

Mrs. Cory Aquino stood for truth, accountability and justice. She joined the people in fighting corruption, and resisting tyrannical rule. She consistently opposed attempts by the administrations that succeeded hers to amend the 1987 Constitution in order to cling to power or for other dubious ends.

Cory called on the people to act when those in government abused their positions to amass wealth, perpetuate themselves in power, and suppress dissent. She played an indispensable leading role in both the People Power I and People Power 2 uprisings. She took a principled stand in the “Hello Garci” scandal, and consequently called on Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign from Presidency.

She joined protests concerning the NBN-ZTE scam and other anomalous deals, as well as against proposals for a charter change under the present administration. She marched with the people to ask Congress to impeach Mrs. Arroyo.

Cory was undoubtedly an invaluable rallying figure in uniting the Filipino people against dictatorial rule and bad governance. Her legacy in the continuing fight for democracy will always be
remembered. (end)



01 August 2009

For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0915-9329407

Relives the Lessons Cory Left to Filipinos

“The memory of President Cory’s courage and the quiet grace of her spirit will always be a reminder to those who aspire to be dictators or tyrants that the Filipino people, inspired by the same memory, will never allow them to rule again.”

This is the statement of Rep.Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party today as she joins the Aquino family and the entire nation in prayer and mourning for the passing away of former President Cory Aquino.

Maza describes Cory as a formidable voice in the anti-GMA struggle and has been instrumental in the cause against corruption and greed for power.

“Up to the last days of her life, she has been one with the people in calling for change. She served as an inspiration to millions of Filipinos who dare to challenge and oppose the existing bankruptcy of the Arroyo administration,” Maza said.

Maza added that in the light of GMA’s moves to amend the 1987 Constitution through Con-Ass, the Filipino people should constantly be reminded of how the late Cory Aquino stood up against this threat to democracy.

Liza Maza, together with fellow Gabriela Women’s Party Rep.Luz Ilagan, Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino and Neri Colmenares, Anakpawis Reps. Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod, and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino, will pay respects to former President Cory Aquino later this evening.###



August 2, 2009
ROY MORILLA, KMP Public Information Officer (63-905-421-7305)

Peasants pay tribute to Aquino for calling Arroyo's resignation

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) joins the country and world's mourning of the death of former president Corazon Aquino. The group significantly remembers her call for Arroyo's resignation or Arroyo to spare the country and make her "supreme sacrifice" after the "Hello Garci" scandal in 2005.

"We pay tribute to President Aquino for joining the people's clamor for Arroyo's resignation. In addition, her effort in People Power 1 and 2 and joining the people's protests against the past government's move for charter change (Chacha) as early as 1997, and against corruption such as protesting against the NBN-ZTE deal in 2008," said Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General.

The group also said the Aquino was supported by the people during the Marcos dictatorship, consequently resulting the ouster of the latter. Her rule was also marked with numerous coup d' etat which threatened the civilian rule. It was also in her term when the U.S. bases were ejected from the country in 1991.

KMP also hoped that before her death, she was able to remind her family and relatives to distribute Hacienda Luisita to the agricultural workers, particularly Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino.

"We mourn with the people as she is deeply needed at present as we are under an Arroyo dictatorship and a president who tramples democracy and is anti-peasant, anti-people," said Ramos.

The group said that to honor her in the highest form is to live her legacy of fighting for democracy, spirit of people power and abolishing a dictatorship such as of Arroyo at present.#


Cory, Saturday Morning

by Arnold Alamon*


The banner headlines tomorrow will mark the mournful pause that Cory's passing  has brought the nation. And I find myself today taking that same pause and reflecting on why I am moved by her death as well.

I never identified with Cory's yellow army from the onset. When my grade  school classmates were flashing Cory's laban sign in 1986, what I would interpret later on as a middle class identification, I was the lone Marcos loyalist in the classroom on account of my own social identifications. I thought it was incumbent upon me to toe the official line since I was a
military brat. I remember debating with my classmates and the strongest  argument that my 10 year-old brain could muster versus Cory's supporters then was that Cory was "just" a woman. I have since repented of course having realized that intelligence, fortitude, grace, on the one hand, and even despotic traits and arrogance, on the other, are not the monopoly of male leaders.

Cory indeed went on to make history in the snap elections of '86 and the  ensuing people power revolt but I generally remained ambivalent about her place in history. While the same middle class high school classmates were defending the extension of the US Bases just like Cory, I wrestled away from  my own identifications and took a stand against the bases. Since then I have unlearned many social givens and learned about how Cory's presidency supported
landed interests, tolerated low intensity conflict approaches to combat the  insurgency, and relied on American support to keep her presidency versus the coup attempts that plagued her administration. I have also learned that the decades of organizing and struggle being waged in the countryside and the cities set the stage for the overthrow of the dictatorship. So why am I now mourning her passing?

She was a simple housewife who reluctantly took on the reigns of a popular  anti-dictatorship struggle after her husband's assassination. I would like to believe that Cory's patriotism had something to do with the timeless images of  ordinary people braving tanks, offering their lives, and finding solidarity in each other in the fight against a tyrant no matter how fleeting or illusory these may have been. Cory in her yellow dress, that man in tears braving the  tanks, the nun offering flowers to armed soldiers, and the common folk finding political release in Malacañan after decades - powerful images of men and women who fought for the same nation we continue to fight for till now. Cory remained consistent and uncompromising, even standing up against the present-day tyrant in our midst and she continues to inspire generations both
old and new to challenge power with truth.

The lessons of Cory's patriotism and peaceful revolution must continue to be  debated upon and our collective gains from these must be defended. But there is reason to pause and mourn her passing. Though she was greatly impaired by her milieu and ideological horizon, Cory Aquino rose to the demands of history as a patriot. The nation, including me, should be deeply grateful.


* Arnold Alamon taught at UP Manila, now a free lance writer and researcher



August 3, 2009
Reference: Peter Arvin Jabido, NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, email:

To Those Who Mourn for Tita Cory....
A Letter from the NY Committee from Human Rights in the Philippines

The NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines sends its condolences to the Cojuanco-Aquino family and joins the Filipino people in mourning the death of former Philippine President Corazon "Cory" Aquino last weekend after a long and brave battle against cancer.

During the three-year exile of the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino in the United States to seek medical treatment, the Aquino family settled in Boston and traveled frequently to New York City, where there still remains the legacy of an anti-fascist, anti-dictatorship, pro-democracy movement of overseas Filipino professionals. Many from New York City supported the Aquino family as the movement to oppose the Martial Law under Ferdinand Marcos can also be attributed to uniting broad ranks of Filipinos overseas as well as in Manila and throughout the Philippines.

By now, Cory Aquino's story is well-known. From the shadow of her murdered husband, this "mere housewife"-- as described by Marcos-- rose to become the first woman president of the Philippines and in Asia. The combination of Ninoy's tragedy and Cory's victory not only fast-tracked the toppling of a 20-year old dictatorship, it brought various Filipinos from different social standings together and was a wake-up call to the possibility of collective action and nationwide unity in order to make it happen. It also led to the release of hundreds of government critics who had been imprisoned and tortured by the Marcos government for political beliefs, as well as the exploration of peace prospects through negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, who have been in engaged in a 40 year old civil war.

These, perhaps, should be the most-remembered and lasting contributions of "Tita Cory", as she was fondly known.

Though Tita Cory's presidency had its notable shortcomings-- including a fraudulent land reform program that led to the shooting of indignant farmers calling for genuine land reform along Mendiola Bridge in 1987, as well as human rights violations committed by the same Armed Forces of the Philippines responsible for Martial Law-- these cannot deny its strong pursuit of reforms in the name of restoring democracy after Marcos. These include the formal closing of the former permanent US military bases after nearly a century of establishment, the restoring of the Philippine Congress as a pillar of democracy that had been dismantled under Marcos, and the creation of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to include specific provisions that limit foreign intervention and promote Philippine sovereignty as well as safeguard against executive abuse of power in the form of martial rule.

Though moral conviction against tyranny and corruption made Tita Cory stand apart from previous Philippine administrations and earned her the support of the Catholic Church, it also subjected her to the wrath of destabilizers within her own government and military that sought to bring her down. In the end, Tita Cory's popularity withstood several attempts at military coup d'etat to overthrow her.


Even after retiring from the presidency, Tita Cory publicly stood up against gross government corruption traced to both the administrations of Joseph Estrada and most recently with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Now the pro-sovereignty provisions to the Philippine Constitution that Cory's administration introduced stand to be erased due to a relentless campaign for greed and power under Arroyo, as exemplified through Arroyo's Charter Change. Though many have compared these two women presidents of the Philippines and pointed out their incidental similarities, let us focus on what makes them starkly different.

While Cory's administration saw the formal closing of the permanent US military bases, Gloria's administration seeks to formally restore them.

While Cory publicly opposed corruption, Gloria is guilty of committing and promoting it.

While Cory framed the 1987 Philippine Constitution seeking restore democracy, Gloria wants threatens democracy by seeking to change it.

While Cory freed political prisoners who were illegally detained and tortured, Gloria continues to illegally detain and torture critics of her regime.

While Cory stood up against Marcos, Gloria is emulating Marcos.

While Cory proved her moral credibility with the people, the church and international community, Gloria has lost all moral credibility with the people, the church and the international community.

In her final years, Tita Cory was one of the few from the Philippine political elite who asked Arroyo to step down from the presidency. She remained firm to this position to her deathbed.

The fight inspired by Tita Cory in 1986 is far from over. Genuine democracy in the Philippines has yet to be restored and realized.

Let the movement that Tita Cory inspired not be in vain. In the midst of another tyrannical government, let us again unite from Manila, to New York City, to the far-flung provinces of the Philippines against corruption, rising fascism, and dictatorship.

As millions now gather to mourn, let us mourn as Tita Cory would want us to-- not just by tying yellow ribbons or flashing the "L" hand signs, but by continuing the people's movement in aspiration for genuine sovereignty, democracy, and peace.

Towards Unity & Nationhood,
The NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines



Statement of Kilusang Mayo Uno on Corazon Aquino's Death
Date: 1 Aug 2009
Reference Person:  Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chaiperson
Contact information: 0929-629-3234

Kilusang Mayo Uno joins the Filipino people in mourning the passing of former President Corazon Aquino.

Mrs. Aquino became the leading figure in the people’s uprising against the fascist US-Marcos regime. In her last years, she joined mass demonstrations against the US-Arroyo regime, which seeks to outdo Marcos’. She spoke against moral bankruptcy in government, state terrorism and charter change.

We value her commitment to stand up against any measure that seeks to restore the outright fascist dictatorship that the people overthrew in 1986. She died as an ally of the Filipino people against Arroyo’s curtailment of civil liberties and the regime’s Charter change agenda.

Mrs. Aquino was part of the historical display of the power of the Filipino people’s unity that was EDSA 1. Today, we are called upon by history to create the broadest unity to continue the unfinished task of fighting for genuine democracy and social change. ###

League of Filipino Students
Vinzons Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City


August 3, 2009

EDSA Babies Vow to Continue the Struggle for Democracy

League of Filipino Students Secretary-General Terry Ridon and Anakbayan Chairperson Ken Leonard Ramos were born a few months before the EDSA Revolution of 1986 which installed President Corazon Aquino in power.

More than two decades after, the two former UP Student Regents are presently involving themselves in the painstaking struggle for genuine freedom and democracy in the country – first through the ouster of President Joseph Estrada in 2001, as high school students in Ateneo de Manila High School and UP Integrated School, respectively, and now as national student leaders fighting for truth, accountability and genuine reforms.

Since 2005 until President Aquino fell ill last year, they had been meeting, marching and protesting with the former President and other political groups for truth and accountability.

“With the death of a much respected President, we vow to carry on the challenge of building a better country through genuine and systemic reforms,” Ridon said.

“From EDSA I until today, there is still so much to be done. The farmers have yet to own their lands through genuine agrarian reform, and political activists remain under attack by state security forces, similar still to those experienced under martial law,” Ramos said.

The two national student leaders reaffirmed the youth’s commitment to never forget the lessons of EDSA I and the Marcos dictatorship, and vowed to continue the fight to protect the country’s democracy from attempts to reestablish a dictatorship of a ‘new type’, alluding to the equivocal pronouncements of Malacanang on Charter Change and term extension.

“We may have been too young to remember the courage of the Filipino people in standing up to the old dictatorship, but we are prepared to stand tall today in defense of our democratic rights and ideals,” Ramos said.

“If we need to sacrifice our lives as the heroes and the martyrs of the old dictatorship had in defense of our hard-won rights, in the line of fire shall the youth of our country be.” Ridon finally says.


Terry Ridon, Secretary-General, League of Filipino Students, 09158513904,

At La Salle Greenhills and Ayala
Feb. 17, 2008 - Greenhills re ZTE-NBN scandal/Lozada June 10, 2009 - Ayala: Aquino's grandson reads her critique of the Arroyo regime


Cory Aquino’s Place in History
PUBLISHED ON August 1, 2009 AT 10:28 AM

The failures of her presidency notwithstanding, Cory Aquino will be remembered for helping restore democracy in the Philippines and dismantle the vestiges of the Marcos dictatorship. When the Arroyo regime increasingly became corrupt and autocratic, she again rose to the challenge. Cory fought tyranny to the very end.


MANILA – Corazon Aquino could have just went through the normal grieving process with her family after losing her husband Ninoy to the dark forces of the Marcos dictatorship. But she did not. Cory rose to the occasion to challenge the dictator for the presidency during the snap elections. In the process, she represented the anger of the Filipino people who were fed up with Marcos and his martial-law regime. And Cory, who was belittled by Marcos for being a “mere housewife,” defeated the dictator who was in power for 20 years and was known to be a brilliant lawyer before running for politics. When Marcos committed massive electoral fraud and refused to yield, Cory became the symbol of the “people power” uprising that ensued.

When Ferdinand Marcos was ousted from Malacañang and Cory Aquino assumed the presidency, she immediately went about dismantling the vestiges of martial law. She restored the Filipino people’s formal democratic rights, reopened the institutions of governance, released political prisoners, created the Presidential Committee on Human Rights, and appointed some human-rights lawyers to positions in government.

Cory Aquino, during an anti-terrorism rally in Davao City in 2003. (Photo by Carlos H. Conde /

However, owing to her background, she fell short of implementing substantial reforms. She signed the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, but the law had to be extended for more than two decades without being completed. The mill and farm workers of the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita had to fight for the land they have tilled for generations for two decades, paying for it with their blood before being able to gain it. She refused to renegotiate even the onerous foreign debts of the Marcos dictatorship, passing the Automatic Appropriation Law instead. And the Aquino government pursued the same economic policies that have wreaked havoc on the lives of the Filipino masses.

Aquino also implemented the same militarist solution to the armed conflict by “unsheathing the sword of war,” displacing more than a million people in rural areas. The “low intensity conflict” strategy that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) learned from the US Armed Forces and was implemented by the Aquino government included arming anti-communist vigilante groups, which was responsible for brutal attacks against the people in rural areas. Enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings were also committed although the number of victims pales in comparison to that of the present Arroyo government.

Nevertheless, Cory Aquino, who died today, Aug. 1, has secured her place in history for daring to challenge the hated Marcos dictatorship and becoming the first woman president of the Philippines. More importantly, she presided over the dismantling of martial law and the restoration of the Filipino people’s formal democratic rights and processes.

Cory is much unlike the second woman to become president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is attempting to emulate Marcos by attempting to become a dictator and trying to outdo Marcos in corruption and human-rights violations. Seeing this, Cory Aquino had to rise again to the occasion and ask Arroyo to resign. She became one of the guiding forces of the movement to oust Arroyo. Cory fought tyranny to the very end. (



Progressive Groups, Leaders Recognize Cory’s Role in Fight Vs Tyranny
PUBLISHED ON August 2, 2009 AT 1:55 PM


MANILA — Even as they did not always see eye to eye with her politically, several progressive groups and party-list representatives have paid tribute to former President Corazon Aquino, who succumbed to cancer early yesterday at 76. They recognized her role in the people’s struggles against tyranny, corruption, and greed for power.

Aquino was thrust into the limelight after the assassination of her husband Benigno Aquino Jr., a leader of the anti-dictatorship opposition, in 1983. In the 1986 snap presidential elections, she was chosen by various opposition forces as their common standard-bearer against then President Ferdinand Marcos. The elections were marred by massive fraud and violence and Aquino was catapulted to power on the heels of what is now known as the Edsa 1 uprising.

As president, Aquino presided over the restoration of the democratic space that was in place before the declaration of martial law. Her regime, however, was tarnished by, among other things, the lack of genuine agrarian reform, a long-standing demand of the peasantry; as well as the imposition of US-sponsored low-intensity conflict in the countryside, leading to numerous human-rights violations.

After her presidency, she figured prominently in the largely anti-corruption Edsa 2 uprising that toppled Joseph Estrada, as well as in the campaigns for truth and accountability under the Arroyo administration, even as, at some point, she and her family found themselves having to confront issues springing from what is now known as the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

Both Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance) and the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU or May 1st Movement) acknowledged Aquino’s role in the struggles against tyranny.

“To the end, Mrs. Aquino was in solidarity with the people in the fight against tyranny,” read a statement by Bayan. “While unable to join protest actions because of her frail health, she sent a message that was read at the June 10, 2009, rally in Ayala against Charter change. The message was her last and strongest against moves to change the Constitution.

“Mrs. Aquino was a leading figure in Edsa 1 and Edsa 2. In the past four years, she joined mass actions against electoral fraud, corruption and charter change. She marched to support the impeachment complaint in 2005 and supported the communal actions at the height of the NBN-ZTE scandal in 2008.”

“Mrs. Aquino became the leading figure in the people’s uprising against the fascist US-Marcos regime,” the KMU meanwhile said. “In her last years, she joined mass demonstrations against the US-Arroyo regime. She spoke against moral bankruptcy in the government, state terrorism and charter change.

“We value her commitment to stand up against any measure to restore the tyranny that the people overthrew in the 1980s.”

Terry Ridon, secretary-general of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), described Aquino as “an insurmountable ally” in some of the Filipino people’s major struggles in recent history. “While the LFS have had principled disagreements with President Aquino on agrarian reform and her anti-insurgency campaign during her term, we shall not forget the periodic unities for good governance and reform shared with the students through the decades, from the people power uprisings against Presidents Marcos and Estrada, and the continuing campaign for truth and accountability today,” Ridon said.

Danilo Ramos, secretary-general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Peasant Movement of the Philippines), paid tribute to Aquino “for joining the people’s clamor for Arroyo’s resignation,” and for her efforts in the two Edsa uprisings and the campaigns against charter change and corruption.

Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) Rep. Liza Maza described Aquino as “a formidable voice” in the campaigns against the Arroyo administration, and said she was “instrumental in the cause against corruption and greed for power.”

Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Satur Ocampo, in a text message sent by his staff to media, lamented Aquino’s passing “at this critical point of our nation’s history.” (




Joma, Cory had 'exceptional' relationship

By Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau | 08/03/2009 10:03 AM

Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and his wife Juliet joined the rest of the world in mourning the death of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino on Saturday.

Sison said he and Cory maintained a special relationship that dates way before her presidency. He said he and Cory's husband, Beningno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., worked together for a common goal to fight the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

And in the political struggles of Joma and Ninoy, their wives Juliet and Cory became tightly knitted by their love for their husbands, joining and working vigorously in the campaign against Marcos.

“First time nung makilala ko si Cory nung 1967. Dumalaw ako kay Ninoy Aquino. Siya [Cory] ang nagsilbi nung kape kaya natatawa ako noong sinasabi na siya ang nagsisilbi dun sa ibang bisita,” Sison in an interview with Balitang Europe.

“Yan ang pang-charming ni Ninoy eh. Talagang very friendly si Cory, yung kanyang ugali,” he added.

Sison has Cory to thank for his release from almost nine years of imprisonment under Marcos.

“Nung ma-release ako, dun sa penthouse ng Cojuangco building ako na-release at dun kami nagtagpo sa presidente, kay Cory. Kung maalala ko, released ako on recognizance to Doña Aurora Aquino,” noted Sison.

He said that his relationship with Cory was exceptional that it did not end even after an official act to cancel his passport.

“Pati na dun sa cancellation ng passport ko siyempre in public pupunahin ko ‘yon na ginawa ni Cory. Pero di nawawala yung pagkakaibigan namin kasi nagpaabot eh,” related Sison.

According to Sison, it was Cory who fought for almost two years the urgings of the military to cancel his passport.

It was also Cory, according to him, who warned him that it was safer for him to remain outside the Philippines.

“Mabuti daw na nandito ako dahil ang mga militar ang nagtutulak na kanselahin ang passport ko so ganun, hindi nawawala yung aming mabuting relasyon kahit na gumawa siya ng official act na kanselahin ang aking passport,” he said.

Sison said that for his part, the revolutionary movement helped in putting Cory in power and getting rid of Marcos.

A witty and gracious Cory

Juliet has nothing but good memories of Cory. She explained that as wives of husbands driven by a common goal, she and Cory were always together in political events.

“Maraming pag-oorganiza na ginawa namin nun upang kalabanin si Marcos so andun siya sa mga organisasyon na binubuo para labanan si Marcos. Yung Aquino Justice For All, yun namang kilusan na ‘yon di naman para lang kay Aquino kundi para sa lahat ng nabiktima o nabibiktima ng martial law,” she added.

“Kaya nagkakasama kami nun sa mga pagsisikap na ‘yon. Ang mga meeting na ‘yon kasama namin sila Guingona, yang si Cory, si Doña Aurora, sila Salonga at yung mga personalidad na lumalaban kay Marcos na padami nang padami,” she noted.

Juliet said her first impression of Cory was that she was a woman of very few words. But when Aquino became president, Juliet was surprised to see a very witty Cory.

“Si Cory masigasig yan dun sa paglaban kay Marcos. Pumupunta siya sa meetings at demonstrations pero hindi siya masalita,” she continued.

“Medyo tahimik siya at medyo reserved kaya nagulat ako na nung presidente na siya, aba biba din pala siya at natutong mas maging ano yan, relaxed sa public although graciosa siya na tao.”

Communication lines open

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Front Negotiating Panel (NDFP) in Utrecht also expressed its solidarity with the family, relatives and friends of Cory in their time of mourning and grief.

NDFP Chair Luis Jalandoni said that Cory's greatest contribution was her ratifying the Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions which is very significant for the human rights standards and policies.  ►

Joma Sison and President Aquino, May 31, 1986 (photo provided by Joma Sison)


Jose Maria Sison and wife Juliet recall relationship with former president Corazon Aquino (Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau)

“Napakalahaga dahil ito ay respected throughout the world as (an) important document and convention regarding the upholding of human rights at nandyan din sa constitution ng 1987 for which Cory Aquino to a great extent yung pag-uphold ng human rights pati na yung mahalagang bagay… yung pagrestrict ng martial law," Jalandoni told Balitang Europe.

He also said that Cory as president was very different from others in that she kept all communication lines open.

“Cory would make use of different means kahit personal na pagpaabot kay Joma na ‘wag ka munang bumalik dito. Meaning she was concerned for his safety or she would use other channels and say she would like to have peace talks,” said Jalandoni. “She was creative in a very personal way also to maintain communication.”

For NDFP Consultant Fidel Agcaoili, Cory was responsible for initiating the peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP in 1986.

“Siya ang nag-facilitate. Of course nagkaron ng ceasefire agreement. It led to a ceasefire agreement and then it led to maraming NDF na lumitaw at lumabas,” said Agcaoili.

Jalandoni added that Cory's outstanding feat was the release of hundreds of political prisoners, which included Sison.

“All those hundreds of political prisoners is a good example of fulfilling her commitment and her magnanimity with regards to political prisoners and those in need and for the families of these political prisoners,” he said.




CPP founder: Aquino was true to her word
By Delfin Mallari Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:09:00 08/03/2009

LUCENA CITY, Philippines -- Self-exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison said he remembered the “mutual sense of gratitude” between him and former President Corazon Aquino.

“Cory and I cooperated with each other against the Marcos dictatorship and we had a mutual sense of gratitude to each other,” Sison told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of in an email interview Monday morning.

He recalled the day he met Aquino in her office at the penthouse of the Cojuangco building in Makati City. He thanked her for signing the release order for political prisoners and she also thanked Sison for supporting her.

“Let us not one-sidedly think that only the powerful and wealthy are always the source of benefits,” Sison added.

Sison posted a photo of him and the late President on the social networking site Facebook showing the them in animated conversation at the penthouse of the Cojuangco building after his release from prison on March 5, 1986.

After Aquino assumed office as head of the revolutionary government after the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, she freed Sison and several of his comrades from several years of imprisonment in fulfillment of her promise to release all political prisoners.

The CPP founder, now based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, said the “patriotic and progressive forces of the Filipino people, including me, supported her (Aquino) against Marcos and she fulfilled her promise to release all political prisoners.”

Sison claimed then defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile and military vice chief Fidel Ramos tried, but failed to block his release.


Meanwhile, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political arm of the CPP, conveyed its condolences to the Aquino family.

In a statement, the NDFP said that despite being unable to reach a final peace agreement with the government and the failure of the land reform program, the Aquino term was laudable for the release of all political prisoners and the improvement of the human rights situation in the country.

“Ms Aquino was an outstanding and inspiring figure in the anti-fascist alliance against the Marcos dictatorship, especially after the assassination of her husband, Benigno Aquino Jr. She was openly critical of the long-running support of the United States for the Marcos dictatorship in exchange for the aggrandizement of US economic interests and the continuance of the US military bases,” the statement read.

The NDFP also recognized the 1987 Constitution as one of the legacies of Aquino’s term.

“The 1987 Constitution... carries provisions which uphold human rights and restrain the proclamation of martial law, retain national restrictions on foreign investments and prohibit foreign military bases, foreign troops and nuclear weapons on Philippine soil,” the NDFP said.

The NDFP also recalled how, after finishing her term, Aquino strongly opposed the “grossly anti-democratic policies and actions” of her successors, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, adding, “In this regard, she was willing to join up with the patriotic and progressive forces of the people in mass protest actions.”

The signatories of the statement were NDFP negotiating panel chairman Luis Jalandoni; vice chairman Fidel Agcaoili; members Julieta de Lima-Sison, Coni Ledesma and Asterio Palima; Sison; consultants Vicente Ladlad, Dan Borjal, Randall Echanis, Rafael Baylosis and Elizabeth Principe, and senior legal adviser Romeo Capulong.

With a report from Jerome Aning

Holy Mass for Pres. Corazon Aquino  at the House of Representatives
Satur Ocampo gives 1st reading during Cory Mass
PHotos courtesy of Tine Sabillo


At the regular minority press conference today, August 3, 2009, Deputy Minority Leader Satur Ocampo shared some insights on his engagements and friendship with the late President Corazon Aquino.

He presented two photographs of Pres. Aquino circa December 1983. Then, Mrs. Aquino visited political detainees of the Marcos dictatorship in Bicutan Rehabilitation Center that included Ocampo.

The political detainees serenaded Aquino and then had a dialogue on various issues of the time.

Pic 1: cory-satur: Cory listens to political detainees in a dialogue when she visited the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center in December 1983. Cory is seated beside Satur.

Pic 2: Cory with Satur and other political prisoners in Bicutan. Among them were Noel Etabag,  Fidel Agcaoili, Alan Jazmines, and Bal Pinguel, in 1983.

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